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With multiple needs and plenty of money to spend, the Jets will be active in the free agent market this offseason. However, they should be wary of wasting money on players who are declining, have injury or attitude concerns, or may be poor scheme fits.
Let's look at six potential signings they should probably pass on:
WR Emmanuel Sanders
Sanders has been linked to the Jets as a possible replacement for Robby Anderson, assuming the current Jets' No. 1 receiver departs in free agency. On the face of it, this makes some sense as Sanders is a sure-handed player who is an excellent route runner and has been productive in an Adam Gase offense before. He could be a mentor for any young receiver the Jets bring in.
However, Sanders will turn 33 next week and is likely to cost upwards of $10 million per year. That's a lot of money to spend on a player who won't really address the need for a No. 1 receiver and is likely to decline over the life of his contract. The Jets should instead focus on players who Sam Darnold can develop long-term chemistry with.
LB Jamie Collins
Having tried and failed to land Anthony Barr last season, a versatile linebacker like Collins could be attractive to the Jets. However, this would be a move that has a high chance of backfiring.
The last time Collins left New England, in a 2016 trade, he was a massive disappointment. Nobody knows this better than Jets' defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who inherited Collins when he became the Browns' defensive coordinator in 2017. Although Collins mysteriously started playing well again once he returned to New England, this seems to suggest he's a product of the Patriots system than a player who would warrant a high contract as he enters his early 30s.
EDGE Dante Fowler Jr.
On paper, Fowler could be seen to provide the Jets exactly what their defense needs. The 25-year-old is coming off a season where he racked up a career-high 11.5 sacks off the edge. However, if new general manager Joe Douglas is focused on creating "the best culture in sports" as he stated back in January, then he'll probably want to steer clear of a player who has been a malcontent with major attitude concerns during his career.
In addition, Fowler can blow hot and cold, which might not be ideal for a team that covets someone who will create consistent pressure. While he finished his contract year strong, Fowler had a string of six games earlier in the season where he didn't register a single sack or quarterback hit.
OL Andrus Peat
With the Jets' well-documented offensive line struggles last season, there's a temptation to assume that bringing in any player who has been a starter will provide them with an upgrade. In Peat's case, however, that probably isn't true.
Despite already having made the move to guard, a sure sign that he wasn't able to cut it at tackle, Peat graded out as one of the worst starting guards in the NFL in 2018, according to Pro Football Focus, and wasn't much better last year.
IDL Marcell Dareus
Defensive tackle is one position where the Jets can afford to stay out of the free agent market, even if they believed a player like Dareus still had enough in the tank to provide them with an upgrade.
As with Fowler, Dareus has been a player who has had attitude issues in the past. Also, although the 29-year-old has been solid when healthy, he's had durability issues that have caused him to miss 21 games over the past four seasons. With so many other needs, signing a player like Dareus would be a waste of money that could cause promising youngsters like Folorunso Fatukasi and Nathan Shepherd to lose playing time.
QB Tom Brady
There's no bigger name on the free agent market than the long-time Patriots starting quarterback, who is expected to command a huge salary upwards of $30 million if New England lets him walk. Despite his past achievements, the 42-year old is viewed as past his prime and would represent a risky move for any team.
For the Jets, though, even entertaining the thought of making a move for Brady should he express a desire to stick it to his old team could be catastrophic. Fans would be alarmed as it would signal a return to the policy of chasing shiny objects which left the team saddled with the likes of Jason Taylor and Tim Tebow. It would also cast doubt upon Douglas' influence and the team's confidence in Darnold. Jets fans can relax, though, because we're confident this isn't going to happen.